It’s almost unheard of for an undergraduate student to present a statement at a United Nations (UN) session. Yet, Susan Price ’16 has done so not just once, but twice. Most recently, on June 18, Price presented at the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Her statement regarded access to health care for women suffering from obstetric fistula, a maternal care issue. “It is estimated to affect roughly two million women, particularly in less developed areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia,” where it is left untreated due to inadequate or inaccessible health care systems, she said.
Price, originally from Dallas, Texas, was presenting on behalf of VIVAT International and Franciscans International. She interned with Franciscans International, a non-governmental group that strives to address issues of injustice affecting vulnerable populations, while on the Geneva Study Group during the spring 2015 semester.
Although Price described the experience as “nerve-wracking,” she maintained her composure, as it wasn’t the first time she was given the floor. In March, at the 28th session, she spoke about food shortages in India.
As an intern, Price was granted access to the floor at the Human Rights Council, allowing her to sit in on discussions and meet delegates. After both presentations delegates who wanted further information regarding the statements approached her.
“It’s hard to express what an incredible experience it is addressing delegates from basically every country you can think of,” she said. “Most of the people giving statements were 30 or 40 years older than I am, and for a lot of them, [this] is their life’s work.”
As an international relations major, Price focuses her coursework on South Asia and Southeast Asia, making both statements relevant to her studies. Her interests stem from volunteer work she did in Thailand during high school and an internship with the U.S. Department of State in Bangkok in the summer of 2014.
Looking forward, Price hopes to return one day to live and work abroad, possibly attending graduate school in Geneva — the same program many of her co-workers at Franciscans International attended — before pursuing a career in development work.
Watch her present (Price starts at 1:30:49, or #46).